Seems but yesterday I wished you a heart of thanksgiving; today, I wish you a heart of hope.
It is, after all, the first week of advent . . . the time of preparation, of waiting with bated breath for the arrival of a little babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manager.
It’s so very easy to overlook. After all, preparation takes time! Even as I type, Santa’s workshop lies at my feet. That’s right, despite grandiose plans to have everything wrapped and under the tree (or out the door) by December 1, I find myself woefully behind.
There remain gifts to wrap, parties to attend, cookies to bake.
Then there’s the news . . .
Speaking of which, many of you have kindly asked an update of my co-worker’s sister, in Paris; we learned this week the family has made the decision to remove her from life support. My heart breaks. And they are but one family of countless families, facing countless sorrows. Some we witness (up close or from afar), others we know nothing about; some we share, others we carry alone.
At times it seems positively overwhelming.
But you know what that first candle stands for? Hope.
It stands for hope!
In the words of Desmond Tutu, “Hope is being able to see there is light, despite all the darkness.”
As that candle reminds, darkness can never extinguish the light.
So as we head into the first weekend of December, as we prepare for the holiday season, let us cling to hope. Let us hold on for all we’re worth; and when our neighbor’s hold is slipping, let’s lend a shoulder to boost him up.
In that, I dare say, we’ll know the true spirit of Christmas.